July 31, 2006
This month we compliment our feature and concentrate on chocolate from Papua New Guinea for another of our country comparisons. Not many fine chocolate makers produce from Papuan beans, but in this edition we have bars from the three different French makers who do, and they all show their own unique approach to Papuan cacao.
Several of the large industrial chocolate producers have also made Papua New Guinea bars, but we have not found any of these to come up to standard as yet. (But watch out for plenty of privately branded bars labelled as origin chocolate from Papua New Guinea.)
We begin our tasting with Pralus’ Papouasie, a chocolate made from traded beans which are of the trinitarios type. This seems to most typically define the Papua New Guinea style and the strong fruit notes combine well with Pralus’ high roast.
Next we try Chocolaterie de l’opera’s Madong, moulded into bar form by L’artisan du Chocolat of London. This is a very different chocolate, much sweeter and with more earth tones, but still shows some of the typical Papuan notes, including leather and pineapple.
Michel Cluizel have worked the most on the beans they receive from Papua New Guinea and are the only producer of the three to oversee the bean processing on the plantation. Their dark Maralumi has become one of the best of their range, and this month we get the chance to try one of the newest bars in their range, a milk version of Maralumi.